Turning the Pages – Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Well, I did very little (for me) reading over the holidays. I only read seven novels that I can think of. Well, actually there were two or three others that I left at my Mom’s, but I didn’t bring them home to write about). Thank goodness I can get right to writing reviews, because I have some essays due for my courses that I’ll be able to focus on as you all get caught up on MY reading! *Grin*

One of the books I was gifted with was the novelization of the motion picture Mr. and Mrs. Smith that is still playing in movie theatres as I write this. The film stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie who play top-secret assassin-spies, married to each other, who have each kept their true job a secret from the other spouse. They appear to be regular fairly-well-off office types, but they are actually stereotypical action heroes. As the plot in the film runs, they are assigned the same target and wind up each assigned to eliminate the opposition. The result is Mr. and Mrs. Smith are trying to take each other out.

I really enjoyed the movie. It has lots of explosions, which is usually a selling point for me and my hubby, who is an action-hero wannabe. The book (as is generally the case) was slightly better.

The film, by necessity, is done in a rather third-person voice. It’s hard to know at any given time what either Mr. or Mrs. Smith is thinking or feeling. The novelization, on the other hand, is framed as two therapeutic journals, written by the Smiths in the course of their couples’ therapy. Each Smith has some issues with the other, and they aren’t able to talk them out without help, so their therapist suggests diaries. In the course of the first-person dialogues, the reader gets a much better sense of the characters’ motivations. Certain exchanges (of words or of bullets) that make little sense on the big screen are more clearly explained by the Smiths’ ‘own words.’

Honestly, this book is brain candy, with little or no literary or educational value. But what else do you want from an easy holiday read? It gave me a couple of hours to myself (literally under the covers with a flashlight, my Mom has a one-bedroom apartment and there were five of us living in it over the holidays! It was certainly worth the huddled posture!

I wouldn’t run out and buy this book, but if you need some alone-in-the-tub-with-a-glass-of-wine reading, and aren’t planning to watch a movie with explosions instead, this novelization might fit the bill.

Dubowski, C. E. (2005). Mr. and Mrs. Smith. New York: Harper Entertainment.